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  • Writer's pictureCanada West

Peter Connellan (FB | Coach)

NAME: Peter Connellan



SPORT: Football

YEARS ACTIVE: 1977, 1983-1995, 2004-2005


  • Four-time Vanier Cup champion

  • Eight-time WIFL/Canada West football champion

  • Received the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIAU football coach of the year in 1977 and 1985

  • Canadian Football Hall of Fame inductee (2012)


Few coaches in any sport at any level experienced the success that Peter Connellan enjoyed with the Calgary Dinos football program.

During Connellan's tenure with the Dinos his teams won eight Hardy Cups and he became the first head coach to win four Vanier Cups.

In his 13 seasons at the helm, Connellan’s Dinos reached the conference playoffs 10 times – in an era where only the top two teams reached the post-season – won eight Hardy Cups (1977, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1988, 1992, 1993, and 1995), and made five Vanier Cup appearances, winning four times (1983, 1985, 1988, 1995).

His teams never had a losing season, and his overall coaching record against Canadian universities was 87-38-2 (.682), including a 16-6 (.727) post-season record.

Connellan won the Frank Tindall Trophy as Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) coach of the year in both 1977 and 1985. He developed a significant number of players for the professional ranks, with 45 of his athletes selected in the CFL Draft during his tenure.

After a career with the Calgary Board of Education, Connellan joined the Dinos football program as an assistant coach and took over the head job on an interim basis for the 1977 season. He was given the full-time head coaching position in 1983, leading the Dinos to 31-21 triumph over Queen’s in the Vanier Cup that season.

Connellan’s Dinos went on to win the national championship again in 1985, defeating Western 25-6, and 1988, when Calgary beat St. Mary’s 52-23 to became the first team to score 50 or more points in the Vanier Cup.

Connellan retired from coaching after the Dinos’ 1995 Vanier Cup victory, a 54-24 defeat of Western Ontario. He returned to serve as offensive coordinator for the team for two seasons in 2004 and 2005.

He is was inducted into the University of Calgary’s Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012. He is also enshrined in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 1983-1985 Dinos football teams.

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